Arianespace has launched the Mohammed VI – B Earth observation satellite into space from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.

The launch was conducted by Arianespace’s Vega rocket on behalf of Morocco.

It represents the 13th consecutive success of Vega since its entry into service in 2012, and the 10th launch of an Earth observation satellite.

Following the launch, which took 55 minutes to complete from lift-off to payload separation, Mohammed VI – B was placed in a Sun-synchronous orbit.

Arianespace missions, operations and purchasing executive vice-president Luce Fabreguettes said: “With its full range of launchers, Arianespace is particularly committed to this segment, which echoes our mission: to put space at the service of a better life on Earth.

“European launches are an answer adapted to the needs of this dynamic market.”

“European launches are an answer adapted to the needs of this dynamic market. This is reflected in our order book, almost 30% of which is composed of Earth observation satellites.”

Mohammed VI – B is the second probe for Morocco’s Mohammed VI ‐ A & B programme and follows the launch of the country’s first Mohammed VI ‐ A satellite in November last year onboard a Vega rocket.

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The satellite was developed by a consortium comprising Thales Alenia Space as system prime contractor and Airbus as co-prime.

Mohammed VI – B is equipped with an optical instrument, an image transmission subsystem, and a ground segment for image processing and production.

It is designed to conduct mapping and land surveying activities, agricultural monitoring, prevention and management of natural disasters, monitoring changes in environment and desertification, and border and coastal surveillance.